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The Conquest of Happiness by Bertrand Russell
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's review
Dec 09, 2013

it was amazing
bookshelves: brainy-self-help, favorites, philosophy, non-fiction
Read from June 23 to 27, 2012

This is sort of a philosophical self-help book with a differential, it's written by a wiseman and a real and great philosopher like Bertrand Russell. And that does make a difference. My theory is that the concept of a self-help book can be an excellent idea if well executed, meaning that it should not be written by anyone but someone who is versed on men and life as some philosophers who dedicated their lives to this type of subject, WHICH requires introspection (a valuable quality imo), that is the main obstacle to achieve happiness in Russell's opinion, so you can see I can hardly agree with him in this matter. I just don't think human beings can focus on the external world without acquiring suficient self-knowledge. People just need to sort out their own shit to be able to open themselves up to the world. Despite this disagreement, I loved this book, there were some beautifully well-put advice and I need to do some rereading in the near future to let them slip in my subconcious. It was also patent how wise Russell thought he was, it could be annoying in fact, but I like flawed people, they are down-to-earth, honest, authentic and therefore reliable and he did have an uncommon sensibility towards the matters that bring pain to our hearts. So I intend to read further in to his body of work and it really pleased me how accessible his language was. I recommed this to fans of Alain de Botton or Irvin Yalom.

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Reading Progress

06/23/2012 page 16
8.0% "One little prob: i don't think you can be happy by simply switching focus to the external world. Worrying about the world, your friends, knowledge is great and makes you grow, but you'll never be able to really help someone or truly aprehend information without taking good care of yourself."
06/24/2012 page 60
30.0% "The greatest thing about this book is that it's a philosophical self-help book written by a real wise man like Bertrand Russell. And it's precisely my type of book! Love!"
06/24/2012 page 70
35.0% "I disagree with his views on envy. I prefer Nietzsche's. Envy is just natural and it makes you grown if you channel it in a productive way. The peacock story is cool but if each person thinks of themselves as the best, then what is left to change? Thinking like that can be delusional at times. You have to know when others have something better to offer."
06/24/2012 page 72
36.0% "Well if everyone thinks of themselves as best, then we gotta admit everyone has something to offer. It's just odd for me to always think my views are the best and never submit."
06/26/2012 page 130
65.0% "I think self-knowledge is the first step to acquire interest in the external world. You don't just get interested in others without having some good self-esteem and taking care of your own shit."
06/27/2012 page 200
100.0% "There are moments when he's like: "OH I'm so wise!". But it's ok in a way cause it would be worse if he was a perfect being, superhuman. As long as I can find flaws in people, I feel like they are reliable, honest and down-to-earth. I do disagree with many things he said but I do agree with others and this book is so beautiful and well-put...I love how he made this accessible. <3"
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